Traditional Quick-Pickled Brussels Sprouts Recipe


Chefs all across the South are putting up jars of local produce, lining their larders and dining room shelves with interesting twists on pickles. You too can have a little jar of big Brussels sprout flavor for snacking, sandwiches, or skewered to garnish a spicy Bloody Mary. Chef and cookbook author Virginia Willis created this easy pickled Brussels sprouts recipe flavored with black peppercorns, mustard seeds, garlic, a bay leaf, and a pinch of crushed red pepper. The pickles are made in the refrigerator, so no water bath is needed. After four days of pickling, the Brussels sprouts turn tangy, bright, pungent, and are ready to eat. Serve them alongside a bloody Mary, on a meat and cheese platter, or with rich meats such as roast pork. This recipe makes a small batch of pickles but you can easily scale up the recipe if you want to make a larger amount. They will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to one month. Go ahead, give your Brussels sprouts a little bite.

Traditional Quick-Pickled Brussels Sprouts
Photo: Greg DuPree
Active Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
4 days 15 mins
Serves 4 (serving size: 1/4 cup)


  • 10 trimmed and halved Brussels sprouts

  • 3/4 cup water

  • 1/4 cup white vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

  • 10 black peppercorns

  • 1/4 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds

  • 1 sliced garlic clove

  • 1 Pinch of crushed red pepper

  • 1 fresh bay leaf


  1. Cook 10 trimmed and halved Brussels sprouts in a large stockpot of boiling water until bright green, about 5 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Bring 3/4 cup water, 1/4 cup white vinegar, and 1 tsp. coarse kosher salt to a simmer in stockpot over medium; simmer until salt dissolves. Combine 10 black peppercorns, 1/4 tsp. yellow mustard seeds, 1 sliced garlic clove, a pinch of crushed red pepper, and 1 fresh bay leaf in a sterilized pint jar. Place Brussels sprouts in jar; add hot vinegar mixture. (You may have some leftover liquid.) Cool to room temperature. Cover with lid, and chill 4 days or up to 2 weeks before serving. Store covered in refrigerator up to 1 month.

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